Public Education for Everyone

Governments have a responsibility to provide high quality comprehensive public education for everyone across pre-school and early childhood education, schools and TAFE, and Universities. Whether you live in remote areas, rural and regional communities, are in prison, or studying online through distance education – public education is for everyone. But the Liberals and Nationals have stopped listening to teachers, are short-changing students, and have no plan to attract and retain teachers in the public system.

Our party’s policies on education are written by teachers through the lens of the universal value and benefit to society of well-resourced public education. 

We have a plan to deliver what is needed to respect, recruit, resource, and retain teachers in public education, and to grow the greatest wealth we have – free and secular access to public education. With more Greens in the NSW Parliament, schools and universities will get the resourcing needed to meet all students’ needs, teachers will get the pay and conditions they deserve, and teachers and students will take their rightful place at the heart of all policy decisions.

Schools First  

Every child in every part of the state deserves access to world class public education no matter their background or life circumstance. Public schools are the heart of every community and teaching and learning must be supported at every level of need from students and families, across teaching and non-teaching positions in schools, and in the resources and infrastructure that supports 21st century education. The Liberals and Nationals have driven our public education system into the ground through chronic underfunding, and the devaluing of the teaching profession. Thanks will not fix the teacher shortage, but improving pay and conditions will. Student learning is being disrupted and hindered by the belligerence of the Perrotet government who have no workforce plan to attract and retain teachers in the profession. Some of our public schools are receiving half the funding that private schools are given, and the neo-liberal agenda is harming our most vulnerable young people – students living with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, children from non-English speaking backgrounds, and LGBTIQ+ students.

We have a plan to scrap the public sector wage cap and give teachers a 15% pay rise plus inflation per the Gallop Report, fund all schools at 100% of the School Resourcing Standard, and develop a workforce plan to attract the 12,000 teachers needed over the next decade. We want to return students, teachers, and their union to the centre of all policy and curriculum decisions.

The Greens will:

  • Immediately give all NSW public school teachers a minimum 15% pay rise plus an assessment of inflation over the next 2 years
  • Provide an increase in 2 hours per week of Relief from Face to Face (RFF) teaching for all public-school primary teachers in NSW and 2 hours less face-to-face teaching for all High School teachers
  • Deliver 100% of the School Resourcing Standard across NSW
  • Develop a workforce plan in consultation with teachers, Universities, and the NSW Teachers Federation to recruit and retain 12,000 new teachers over the next 10 years
  • Remove any demountable classroom that has been in operation for more than 3 years and invest $1 Billion to address the school maintenance backlog by 2026
  • Provide at least 1 additional school councillor for every public school in NSW over the next 4 years and reach a target of 1 counsellor per 500 students by 2030.
  • Provide additional resourcing and funds for free public school breakfasts and lunches and to cover all excursions and other individual student costs.

Restore TAFE

Restoring TAFE is fundamental to supporting people in our communities to grow skills and educational wealth. Any person who wants vocational education in our communities should have access regardless of their socio-economic background, cultural background, or learning needs. Forcing students to pay fees to undertake higher learning is a travesty and it is the most vulnerable in our communities who are missing out on educational opportunities because of the Liberals and Nationals systemic underfunding of TAFE, the introduction of student fees, and the appalling pay and conditions for teachers.

The current salary, conditions and workload of TAFE teachers has become a barrier to retaining existing teachers and the recruitment of new teachers. TAFE teachers are now paid less than school teachers despite being required to have additional expertise.

The Greens will restore a free and well-resourced TAFE system where teachers and students are valued. The Greens will ensure fair and just salary increases for TAFE teachers and reverse the casualisation of the TAFE workforce. The Greens will deliver 100% funding to TAFE from the State and Commonwealth budgets with no competition from private providers.

The Greens will:

  • Make TAFE free again for all students 
  • Deliver a salary increase for TAFE teachers that is on par with school teachers  
  • Provide pathways to permanency for 10,000 casual TAFE teachers over the next 4 years 
  • Reduce administrative burdens
  • Abolish the contestable funding model and guarantee 100% of all State and Federal vocational education budgets to TAFE
  • Stop closing TAFE campuses

Universal Public Preschool

We know that access to quality education in the preschool years is key to a young person’s lifelong health and wellbeing, as well as being crucial to future prosperity. Students and families are missing out on the potential for every child to have the right foundation for learning before they start school. 

The Liberals and Nationals privatised model for preschools and enabling profit from young children and families, as well as taxpayer subsidies, detracts from the primary focus of quality early childhood education. NSW has one of the highest levels of privatisation in early childhood education in the world with only 7.5% of approved services being publicly owned and run. Public pre-schools demonstrate better outcomes and ensure that all parents and children have access to high quality early learning appropriate to their circumstances.

The Greens plan to deliver public pre-schools at every public school in NSW by 2035, give teachers the pay and conditions needed to retain and attract quality educators to the profession, and resource public education to a standard that meets all students needs.  

The Greens will:

  • Ensure free and universal preschool by 2030
  • Deliver 100 new government pre-schools in the next 3 years 
  • Increase before and after school care and remove privatisation incentives

Growing Universities

Thriving tertiary education communities are the cornerstone of democracy and culture. Higher learning, teaching, and research are fundamental to the empowerment and success of students, and support people to flourish and contribute to the betterment of society. Impact research informs and stretches the boundaries of what is possible and supports thinkers to solve key polemics in our world.

The Liberals and Nationals have eroded the culture of our universities and propped up middle managers at the expense of student learning. The endemic casualisation of teaching in our universities and appalling pay and conditions for teachers and staff is eroding the very fabric of higher learning. Fee paying and massive student debt sets people up for failure in the future.

The Greens will:

  • Wipe student debt
  • Fund universities adequately and disallow privatisation of the tertiary sector
  • Work towards acquisition of private student housing to deliver public, not-for-profit or cooperative housing options
  • Stop the sell off of university owned student housing
  • Ensure transparent and specific reporting on staff numbers, wages and employment status
  • Caps on executive salaries
  • Reject casualisation and restore secure ongoing employment
  • Ensure university colleges are safe and meeting the housing needs of all students and that they are owned and managed within a public, transparent and accountable structure
  • Keep universities independent from political interference. 
  • Overhaul university governance and reporting requirements to ensure transparency and staff involvement in decision making.